Idaho Legislature aims to adjourn Thursday, say Sen. Davis, Rep. Moyle

Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, who manages the legislative calendar, told colleagues as they opened their session Thursday morning that adjournment is possible today.

Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said he consulted with his House counterpart, Majority Leader Mike Moyle, and said both chambers aim to adjourn a day before the target date set when the session began Jan. 6.

“Let’s go home today,” Davis began his daily “roadmap” chat. “We’re going to get it done. If you can help me help you, we can actually save the taxpayers another nickel or two.”

The House recessed shortly before 11:30 a.m., so the House State Affairs Committee could meet to consider a bill raising pay for statewide elected officials. The House is set to reconvene at 1:30 p.m.

Said Moyle: “There’s a chance we can do all our work and get done today. The end is near.”

It costs about $30,000 a day to operate the Legislature while in session. Thursday is the 74th day of the 2014 session. A 74-day session would be the shortest since 2004, which ran 69 days. Session lengths for the last decade: 2005, 87 days; 2006, 93; 2007, 82; 2008, 87; 2009, 117; 2010, 78; 2011, 88; 2012, 81; 2013, 88.

Davis said the Senate has 26 or 27 measures to vote on before completing its work. The Senate Resources and Environment Committee has substantial business remaining and is set to meet at 1 p.m.

The House had 41 bills on its calendar to begin the day. One committee, Ways & Means, has substantial business at 1:30 p.m.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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